Candida moss on the dating of polycarp
282) narrative of the is without merit or that we should return to reading it naively as a simple unmediated eye-witness account, but simply to point out how different branches of scholarship can inform each other – as epigraphists and institutional historians we can learn from more sceptical literary analysis, but equally new inscriptions allow to consider the accuracy of some elements in martyr acts from a different angle, and knowledge of the institutional history of Roman provinces can be helpful in understanding problematic passages in early Christian texts.
To illustrate this by another example: it was already Bishop Lightfoot in his monumental nineteenth-century commentary ( is addressed to the community in the small inland city of Philomelion. 545) that it was ‘a small, unremarkable town that had little to recommend it in the second century’, and she was not the first to think that this points to a third century date of composition.
Of the early Christian martyrdom accounts, the Martyrdom of Polycarp holds a place of particular honor.Modern critical editions of the Martyrdom of Polycarp (Mart Pol) are compiled from three different categories of manuscript: seven Greek manuscripts, the fourth century Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius of Caesarea, and a single Latin manuscript.The Greek manuscripts are all from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries.The nature of this interpretation, however, is highly debated and has formed the basis for arguments about the authenticity of the account.This paper will explore the way that scholarly assumptions about intertextuality, literary fabrication, and canonicity have influenced and shaped scholarly treatments of the Martyrdom of Polycarp.
Eusebius heavily summarizes the martyrdom and ends his account at 19.1, omitting the concluding sections that relate the transmission of the text, as well as the passion narrative parallels.